New figures show that one in five people are worried about losing their own home.

The figures, released by the Simon Communities of Ireland, show that 19% of those surveyed have a genuine concern about losing their home.

The survey also found that 25% of people are worried about being able to afford their own housing costs, while 31% are particularly concerned about rising rents in the private sector.

30% of those surveyed also expressed concern about the number of people sleeping rough.

Niamh Randall of Simon said it is not surprising that people are concerned given the current housing crisis.

In a statement, Ms Randall said rent supplement levels must be increased in order to give people on State support access to housing.

She said rent supplement has been unchanged since 2013, despite private sector rental prices increasing by 20% in the intervening period.

Consensus needed on health service reform - Shortall

The Social Democrats has said it is eager to promote a political consensus regarding the health service.

Speaking at the launch of the party's health policy, Róisín Shortall said an "agreed approach to reform of the health service is necessary - irregardless of who's in Government".

She said politics needed to be taken out of health, pointing out that "for the past 15 years, the health service has been in state of flux".

Referencing previous health ministers, she said in the early 2000s, Fianna Fáil's Micheál Martin abolished health boards and set up the Health Service Executive.

She said Progressive Democrat Mary Harney's plan was for co-location and James Reilly had a plan for Universal Health Insurance.

While she acknowledged that cancer care and clinical care had improved, beyond that, she claimed Minister for Health Leo Varadkar "has no plan".

Ms Shortall added that "cross party consensus" is required in order to reform the Health service. 

Renua to create 'network of crèches' 

Renua has said it will create a network of community crèches across the country at affordable prices, if it gets into government.

The income tax break for childcare of €500m which it has proposed would be available to crèche operators on an "opt-in basis".

The tax relief will be shared with 20% falling on the service provider to file audited accounts; as well as health and safety documents.